If you hear the name Beyonce and think, “really famous singer,” then congratulations! You live on planet Earth. If you also think, “giant metal chicken,” then you’re familiar with Jenny Lawson, known around the Internet as the Blogess. Her book, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened,” is a sick, twisted, hilarious memoir covering a childhood filled with dead animals (her dad is a taxidermist) and the rest of her offbeat life. Lawson will be making two area appearances this weekend, and you can be pretty sure someone will bring her a dead animal as a present. (You can learn more about Beyonce the Giant Metal Chicken at Theblogess.com.)
Why Her New Book Took 11 Years to Write
“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” actually predates the Blogess blog. “It was a book before it was a blog,” says Lawson. “When you go from blog to book you have to repackage everything because you’ve told all your stories. I knew to save all my best stories for the book.”
Lawson relied on friends and family to read her drafts, and had everyone who appears in the book read their own chapter. “Perspectives are different, so I wanted to make sure they didn’t have anything to add or anything to take out. But it was also nice because so often they would say, ‘Oh, I have pictures of the raccoon wearing Jams!’ Because otherwise no one is going to believe that story.”
On Breaking Records
At press time, “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” has spent three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, an accomplishment that Lawson never anticipated. “My goal was to finish the book before I turned 40, and to seal it up into a box and have it for my daughter one day,” she says. “The thing that I have to keep reminding myself of is that it did so well because it resonated well. I think a lot of people bought the book because they liked the blog, but I think the reason it’s stayed [on the bestseller list] is that so many people read the book and realized, ‘I’m not the only weirdo out there!’ They can say, ‘See, I’m not the only one that thinks Jesus is a zombie!’”Gaithersburg Book Festival, 31 South Summit Ave., Gaithersburg, Md.; Sat., May 19, 4:40 p.m., free; 301-258-6350. Barnes & Noble, 2516 Solomons Island Rd., Annapolis, Md.; Sun., May 20, 2 p.m., free, but tickets required; 410-573-1115.